House and Garden

Mawgan, Near Helston, TR12 6AF
Tel: (01326) 221224


Ancient Cornish Manor House

Historic house, gardens and chapel. Craft and Visitor Centre with exhibitions of arts and crafts, potters and weavers. 1,000 acres of pasture and woodland leading down to the Helford River; Rococo gardens designed by Dionysus Williams (under restoration). The Halliggye Fogou a mysterious neolithic chamber at Trelowarren is the largest in Cornwall. Trelowarren House has a complex building history: the original house is mid 15th century but with many later additions. The estate has a caravan park, a bistro and beautiful woodland walks.

Trelowarren, for 500 years has been the home of the Vyvyan family, who moved here in 1427. A Tudor house, set in parkland, with neogothic chapel, stables, a restaurant and craft shop. Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, the current owner, is restoring the estate. "Trelowarren is living history, not corporate heritage," he says. "We want to maintain the feel of a traditional working estate that people can share with us."

The Vyvyan family trace their ancestry to the time of Edward VI. In the Civil War they were Royalist supporters, and suffered severely from the Parliamentary forces. In recognition of the services rendered by Sir Richard Vyvyan, then the head of the family, during the Civil War, King Charles II presented him with a large painting, by Vandyke, of King Charles I on horseback. That painting hangs in the house today.

Hannibal Vyvyan was MP for Truro when the Spanish Armada threatened the West Country, and subsequently Governor of St. Mawes Castle and Vice-Admiral of Cornwall when the Spaniards raided Penzance and Mousehole in 1595.

Another Sir Richard Vyvyan, a descendant of this Royalist, was imprisoned in the tower by George I, on suspicion of being concerned in favouring the Pretender for the throne.

Sir Francis Vyvyan died on 11th June 1635 and was succeeded by his eldest son Richard, the 1st Baronet who was the most distinguished member of the family.

When the Civil War broke out in 1642 Sir Richard was appointed Colonel of the Regiment of Foot in the hundred of Powder.

The gardens, some twelve acres, were laid out in 1758 to complement the alterations and improvements made to the house at that time. Given that they were the last major alterations to the house, these gardens are being restored to the 18th century landscape plan. The later Victorian gardens, which were planted over the original landscape, were blown down in the hurricane of January 1990 and most work so far has been to re-establish tree planting in the original compartments.

In 1818 Sir Vyell Vyvyan extended the front of the house by four feet.

And another Sir Richard Vyvyan died at Trelowarren on August 15th, 1879. He was a Tory, and represented Bristol in Parliament from the passage of the Reform Bill in 1832 until the dissolution of 1837. During 1831 he made many alterations to the layout of the house. In 1841 he was returned as Member for Helston, which borough he continued to represent up to 1857, when he finally retired from public life.

The current owner, Sir Ferrers Vyvyan, inherited the 1,000-acre estate in 1995. He is the 13th Baronet, whose motto might have been coined for Trelowarren's new direction and those who share in it: Dum Vivimus, Vivamus - "While we live, let us live."

New Yard Restaurant in the grounds uses locally sourced, fresh, seasonal Cornish ingredients, cooked simply and served in a welcoming atmosphere makes it one of the best places to eat in Cornwall.


About three miles south-east of Helston on the B3293.

Opening Times

Daily 11.00am - 5.00pm

Admission Free

Carminowe Valley Garden       Lizard Peninsula       Helford       Helston       Mullion Gallery

Bosahan Garden       Kestle Barton Gallery and Garden